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During a woman’s menopause, natural levels of oestrogen production begin to drop. Evorel Conti is known as a ‘continuous combined’ HRT as it contains the female hormones, oestrogen and progestogen, that are both released all the time.
Evorel Conti is a combined form of hormone replacement therapy (HRT), used to treat symptoms of the menopause. Most HRT treatments involve daily tablets. However, Evorel Conti is a patch which is placed on the skin and changed twice per week. It releases two active ingredients, which emulate the two female sex hormones oestrogen and progesterone. It is a convenient alternative for patients who prefer not to swallow tablets every day.
Evorel Conti is a continuous combined treatment, which does not involve a regular period. For this reason, Evorel Conti is suited for women who have already reached the menopause but still suffer from distressing symptoms.
All women go through the menopause. This usually occurs between the ages of 45 and 55. As you approach this age, your ovaries will produce less and less oestrogen. This has the effect of stopping the menstrual cycle, but the change in hormone levels can lead to several symptoms which may have a substantial impact on day-to-day life. Physical symptoms include hot flushes (a spontaneous heat that spreads throughout the body, leading to blushing, sweating and an unusually strong heartbeat), night sweats, osteoporosis and dryness of the eyes or vagina. The hormonal change can also cause distressing psychological effects such as irritability, insomnia and depression.
Experiences with menopausal symptoms vary significantly depending on the individual. They can begin multiple years prior to the menopause itself, and remain for many years. Women will, on average, experience symptoms for about four years. You can reduce the impact of some symptoms (especially hot flushes) by avoiding alcohol or caffeine, quitting smoking, exercising regularly or staying cool.
Hormone Replacement Therapy eases the symptoms of menopause by supplementing the levels of hormones which the body can produce naturally. Some medicines are oestrogen-only. However, in women who still have a uterus, an uncontrolled increase in oestrogen levels will cause the lining of the uterus (the endometrium) to grow excessively. This will substantially increase your risk of complications such as endometrial cancer. So, the Evorel Conti patch also contains norethisterone acetate, a synthetic version of progesterone. Because the doses are constant, this medicine will not produce a monthly bleed; however, the norethisterone will balance the effect of the extra oestrogen on the endometrium.
If you are switching from another HRT product, leave one week without treatment before you begin using the Evorel Conti patch. HRT should only be necessary as a relatively short-term treatment as your body adjusts to the menopause. You should review your HRT with your GP at least once each year and have regular gynaecological check-ups.
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During a woman’s menopause, natural levels of oestrogen production begin to drop. Evorel Conti is known as a ‘continuous combined’ HRT as it contains the female hormones, oestrogen and progestogen, that are both released all the time. These hormones work to replenish a woman’s natural levels and offset the effects of menopause.
Evorel Conti is a prescription-only medication. Always follow the advice of your doctor and read the patient information leaflet provided in the medication packet. Evorel Conti comes in a variety of doses and your doctor will aim to prescribe you the lowest one possible to help with your symptoms.
Evorel Conti comes as an adhesive patch which should be worn continuously until it’s time to replace it with a new one. Your Evorel Conti patch should be replaced twice weekly (every 3 to 4 days), which is generally best to do on the same two days of each week (like Monday and Thursday).
If you are currently not using any form of HRT, you can start to use Evorel Conti on any convenient day. If you are changing from a cyclic or sequential HRT treatment, you should start to use Evorel Conti on the day after you complete your previous cycle.
To apply the patch, make sure your skin is clean and dry and remove the protective backing to reveal the sticky side. Keeping your fingers away from the sticky side, apply the patch to the skin on the lower abdomen, thigh or bottom and press gently for about 10 seconds. Avoid the waistline area as this can be rubbed by clothes, and never apply the patch to your breasts or the area near them. Each time you change your patch, try to change the spot slightly so that the skin does not become irritated.
The patches are designed to withstand normal activities like exercising, showering and bathing so you shouldn’t have to worry about it. However, do make sure to check it after these activities to ensure it’s still in place.
You may have some light or spotted bleeding in the first few weeks, however if it’s heavy or persistent then you should contact your doctor.
Evorel Conti dosage
Evorel Conti patches have a surface area of 16 sq cm and contain 3.2 mg of estradiol (corresponding to a release of 50 micrograms per 24 hours), and 11.2 mg of norethisterone acetate (corresponding to a release of 170 micrograms per 24 hours).
If you use too much Evorel Conti then remove the patch. This is unlikely due to the way in which it’s used but if you do, then symptoms could include tenderness of the breasts and/or vaginal bleeding. If symptoms persist contact your doctor.
If you forget to change the patch, do it as soon as you remember. No matter what day this happens, go back to changing the newly applied patch on the same days as your original schedule. Never double on a dose to make up for a forgotten one.
Side effects & precautions
Before using Evorel Conti, you should always first consult your doctor. You should not use Evorel Conti if any of the following apply to you:
- If you have ever had breast cancer or are suspected of having it
- If you have cancer that is sensitive to oestrogens
- If you have any unexplained vaginal bleeding
- If you have excessive thickening of the womb lining
- If you have or have ever had a blood clot in a vein
- If you have a blood clotting disorder
- If you have ever had a disease caused by blood clotting in the arteries
- If you have ever had a liver disease
- If you have a rare blood problem called porphyria
- If you are allergic to any of the ingredients in this medication
Your prescription of Evorel Conti may also be affected by a number of other factors, so you should make your doctor aware if any of the following apply:
- If you’ve ever had fibroids inside the womb
- If you’ve ever had growth of the womb lining outside of your womb
- If you have an increased risk of developing blood clots
- If you have an increased risk of oestrogen-sensitive cancer
- If you have high blood pressure
- If you have a liver disorder
- If you have diabetes
- If you have gallstones
- If you suffer with migraines or severe headaches
- If you have a disease of the immune system that affects many organs
- If you have epilepsy
- If you have asthma
- If you have a disease affecting the eardrum and hearing
- If you have a very high level of fat in your blood
- If you have fluid retention due to cardiac or kidney problems
Like many medications with active ingredients, Evorel Conti can affect or be affected by other medicines. Particular medications that you may experience this with include the following:
- Medicines for epilepsy
- Medicines for tuberculosis
- Medicines for HIV infection
- Herbal remedies contains St John’s Wort
- Other anti-infective medicines
If you are taking any of the above medications, then you should make your doctor aware so that they can advise whether or not Evorel Conti will be the best course of action for you.
Taking HRT medication can increase your chances of excessive thickening of the lining of the womb, cancer of the womb lining, and breast cancer so be sure to pay attention to your body, inspect your breasts regularly and notify your doctor of any changes you notice.
Blood clots are higher in HRT users than in non-users, especially during the first year of taking it. Again, you should keep an eye out for any possible signs of a blood clot and contact your doctor if you notice anything different.
The most common side effects of using Evorel Conti include:
- Irritation of the skin where the patch is applied
- Breast pain
- Rash or feeling itchy
- Feeling dizzy, headache
- Feeling depressed or mood change
- Feeling sick or having stomach pains, diarrhoea
- Breakthrough bleeding, spotting or periods
- Weight gain
If you do experience one or more of these side effects and they persist or worsen, then inform your doctor right away. You should also contact your doctor immediately if you experience any serious side effects.